It was nearly midnight, five hours into a marathon meeting with only a five -minute break, when Mark Pinsley announced his resignation from the South Whitehall board of commissioners due to his recent election as Lehigh County controller.
“I recommend Joe Setton be nominated to my seat. He had the second highest votes on the Democratic ticket and owns a business in the township,” said Pinsley.
When commissioners seemed favorable to Setton, the matter provoked an outcry from residents in the Springhouse Middle School auditorium.
The Upper Lehigh Historical Society will have a sale of clear toys and cookies at the Schneck House 1-4 p.m. Dec. 15.
Clear toys will be made by member Suzanne, using her extensive collection of molds to produce the interesting figures.
Choose homemade cookies to take home for a by-the-pound fee.
Jazz pianist Patrick Kerssen will join the Heidelberg Handbell Ensemble to present a concert at Union Lutheran Church 3 p.m. Dec. 15.
A freewill offering will be accepted.
After Ridge Farm representatives completed their presentation for conditional-use approval, South Whitehall Commissioners’ President Christina “Tori” Morgan announced the board would adjourn for an executive session.
At that point, Commissioner Glenn Block stepped forward and commented.
“I won’t go to an executive session,” Block said. “I’m willing to cast my vote against this now.”
Block said the board has some legal obligations but suggested going back to the developer and asking for a reduction in the number of units.
As they have done so many times in the past two years, residents opposed to the Ridge Farm development commented at the Nov. 20 meeting.
Michael Wolk stated the development does not comply with the ordinance for public safety.
“The board of commissioners should deny conditional use,” Wolk said. “Ridge Farm creates unsafe traffic conditions.”
David Burke said safety reviews of the latest development layout should be undertaken before a vote on conditional use.
Diane Kelly also commented.
A 156,000-square-foot warehouse at 4741 Chapmans Road, approved by South Whitehall commissioners in May, was scaled down to 102,000 square feet and approved during their Oct. 16 meeting.
Michael Gamzon, CEO and president of Griffin Industrial Realty Inc., commented on the changed plans for the flex warehouse on the 13.6-acre property.
“Why are we back? Because of Department of Environmental Protection relocation of the drainage swale,” Gamzon said.
South Whitehall commissioners granted approval to Posocco Equities to subdivide and develop property at 1530 Blue Barn Road. The plan proposes four single-family dwelling lots on the 3.81 acre tract on the west side of the road.
The parcel, 1,300 feet south of Chapmans Road, will be served by public water and sewer.
Upon the recommendation of the planning commission, sidewalks will be deferred as none currently exist along the roadway.
The Auxiliary of Northern Valley EMS, NOVA, will host a holiday shop and cutout cookie sale in the social hall at 2375 Levans Road, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 1.
Here is a chance to do some shopping from various vendors while avoiding traffic and crowds.
Lunch and homemade baked goods will be available.
The Sunday School Singers of St. John’s United Church of Christ, 1415 Rising Sun Road, Laurys Station, will perform the Christmas musical, “Cake!” 7 p.m. Dec. 7.
South Whitehall commissioners have approved guard rail replacement along Iron Bridge Road from Cedar Crest Boulevard to Lapp Road at a cost of $14,559.
Although the eastbound side of Iron Bridge Road has remained open, the westbound lane has been closed due to erosion of the banks along the Jordan Creek.
At the Nov. 6 commissioners meeting, Maintenance Superintendent Herb Bender reported the guard rail repair work will enable the road to reopen in both directions.
South Whitehall opponents of Ridge Farm were distressed not only by the content of the applicant’s report at the Oct. 31 meeting, but also by the lack of a visual component and silence in response to their questions.
The huge screen suspended over the stage at Springhouse Middle School remained blank during the lengthy meeting.
To begin, Attorney Jim Preston, representing Kay Builders, offered remarks on potential traffic effects from the proposed 780 housing units and commercial buildings on Huckleberry Road.
During a meeting at Springhouse Middle School on Oct. 30, South Whitehall’s planning commission voted 4-1 to grant conditional use approval to Kay Builders for the Ridge Farm development.
Board member Diane Kelly cast the negative vote after she read aloud a directive from the ordinance stating an applicant should provide for general welfare, safety and public health.
“A development of this magnitude should have gone before the public safety commission,” Kelly said.